Posted: 07 November 2018

Practitioner Stories: Nina Allard

Our story this week comes from Nina Allard, Service Manager for Inside Out at TCS East. Inside Out is a pilot project funded by the Department of Education that offers intensive coaching for children in care. 

She shares her morning routine, her hopes for the young people using the service, and her love for the mysterious Pegacorn. 

What is your background and how has your experience helped at Inside Out?

I am a professionally qualified Youth Worker, and have been an active foster-carer for the last 11 years. My experience working with challenging young people has helped me understand the issues children living in care face. 

I have seen how disruptive it can be to their lives, the impact of contact and broken contact, and how hard it can be to trust and build positive relationships when people in life historically let you down.

What are your main responsibilities at Inside Out?

I have been responsible for forming and mobilising a new team of coaching staff for this project. This has involved working with my coaches and the team from Essex County Council to understand the needs of the young people being referred to the service. I look at how we, as a coaching service, can best support them with up to 25 hours a week for a period of up to 18 months.  

Who are the children that use your service most?

The young people are aged between 15 and 17.5 years old and are looked after. They will be identified through their multiple vulnerabilities, including having had multiple placement moves in the last 12 months.

What's the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is when it all comes together and the young people in our service start to properly engage. The moment they realise we are working for them, in order to help give them stability in their lives, and the freedom to make positive choices - that’s when it all comes into focus and gives me the warm fuzzy feeling.

Who do you admire the most?

There is no one person I admire, I admire the people who are generous, giving and care about others...like the people in my team!

What’s your favourite condiment?

Linghams hot pepper sauce.

What animal would you be and why?

A Pegacorn (a cross between Pegasus and a unicorn). It's beautiful, graceful and magical...a very pure creature. 

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